Health Insurance Won’t Prevent Medical Debt for Mesothelioma Patients

A new survey from the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network has revealed what mesothelioma patients and their families have long known: No amount of health insurance insures against medical debt. 

medical debt

Insurance Coverage Falls Short of Mesothelioma and Other Cancers’ Fees

Cancer care costs are extraordinarily high, and this is particularly true for the advanced treatments required to combat aggressive cancers like malignant mesothelioma. The study published earlier this month collected responses between March 18th and April 14th of this year from almost 1,300 cancer patients and survivors and revealed that almost all of them faced medical debt, despite 98% of them having health insurance policies. Most respondents said that their debt was greater than $5,000 and two-thirds said that they’d carried it for over a year: About one-third said that they’d carried their medical debt for three times that timespan. 

The devastating costs of cancer care are not news to patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. Symptoms of the rare and deadly form of cancer don’t appear until the cancer is far advanced. Diagnosis generally requires multiple invasive tests, and once a diagnosis is confirmed, its extremely aggressive nature requires a prompt response that involves multiple, expensive protocols.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Doctor Describes “Pervasive Problem”

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) is a highly respected comprehensive cancer treatment center that many mesothelioma patients turn to after diagnosis. MSKCC radiation oncologist Dr. Fumiko Chino knows the challenges of cancer costs from personal experience and calls it a “pervasive problem.” Speaking of the issue she said, “We really have an affordability gap. We’re talking hundreds of thousands, up to millions of patients every single year that are really facing excruciating decisions between their life and their life savings.”

For patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, the high cost of medical care is made worse by the fact that their disease could have been prevented had the companies that exposed them to asbestos acted more responsibly. Fortunately, mesothelioma attorneys can help these victims get compensation for the costs that they face.

For information on how the Patient Advocates at can help you, contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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